Plenary Indulgence for Holy Souls in Purgatory

This year, a plenary indulgence will be available each day of the month November, applicable to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. In addition to the usual conditions, it is necessary to visit a cemetery and pray for the souls of the faithful departed. We will thus be making a visit to St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland next Saturday, November 6, after the 10 am Mass and First Saturday devotions, to pray for the suffering souls. The cemetery address is 4529 Howe Street, Oakland.

The Vatican says that the Plenary Indulgence for those who visit a cemetery and pray for the deceased, even if only mentally, normally established only on the individual days from 1 to 8 November, may be transferred to other days of the same month, until its end (i.e. until November 30). These days, freely chosen by the individual believers, may also be separate from each other.

The Plenary Indulgence of 2 November, established on the occasion of the Commemoration of all the deceased faithful for those who piously visit a church or oratory and recite the “Our Father” and the “Creed” there, may be transferred not only to the Sunday before or after or on the day of the Solemnity of All Saints, but also to another day of the month of November, freely chosen by the individual faithful.

The elderly, the sick and all those who for serious reasons cannot leave their homes, for example because of restrictions imposed by the competent authority in this time of the pandemic, in order to prevent numerous faithful from crowding into the holy places, will be able to obtain the Plenary Indulgence as long as they join spiritually with all the other faithful, completely detached from sin and with the intention of complying as soon as possible with the three usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father's intentions), before an image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary, recite pious prayers for the deceased, for example, Lauds and Vespers of the Office of the Dead, the Marian Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, other prayers for the deceased dearest to the faithful, or occupy themselves in considered reading of one of the Gospel passages proposed by the liturgy of the deceased, or perform a work of mercy by offering to God the sorrows and hardships of their own lives.

Thus, interpreting the decree, the Holy See allows each faithful, with the reasons above, to transfer the ability and the day (from Nov. 1-8) to gain the Plenary Indulgence to another day in November (from Nov. 9-30).

Take this for an example: if one were not able to go to the cemetery on Nov. 4 due to the reasons indicated by the decree, that same person may transfer that ability to gain that Plenary Indulgence to another day of his choosing within the rest of the month of November (such as Nov. 15).

Thus, if you are not able to go to the cemetery and fulfill the Indulgenced Act from Nov. 1-8, you may transfer those missed opportunities for Plenary Indulgences to the rest of the month (Nov. 9-30), thus still being able to gain theoretically all 8 Plenary Indulgences that you would have gained on that first week of November on 8 other transferred days of November of your choosing.

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